The museum is in a private house on the edge of a small village just a short distance from Guru Humorului and is a work of love by the owner, Letitia Orsivschi who has collected over 7000 eggs from Romania and the rest of the world. She also gives demonstrations explaining how the eggs are decorated and the significance of the different colours and designs.
Hand painted eggs are a tradition in this part of Romania. Traditionally they were given at Easter and were a symbol of rebirth. The egg was kept for the whole year to protect the family.
The eggs are blown and soaked in salt water before being dried. This makes the shells quite hard and unlikely to break. They are decorated using natural pigments dissolved in beeswax. The outline design is painted on the shell in black.The different colours are then added to make the pattern. It can take 2-4 hours to complete an egg, depending on the design. Designs vary from region to region and have their own meanings. The colours are also significant. Black indicates the infinity of life. Green represents health.
The eggs on display are mainly hen’s eggs, although sizes vary from enormous emu eggs to tiny sparrow eggs. All are beautifully decorated, usually in traditional patterns, although a few have paintings. One is even cut open to reveal the delightful scene of a church mass.
This is one of the best places to buy traditional eggs and Letitia takes great care in helping choose the right egg. Prices vary from 15 Lei (£3) for the simplest designs up to 50 Lei for the most expensive eggs. (Beware – Cheaper eggs sold at wayside stall are often made from wood.)
The “Museum”:http://www.muzeuloului-vama.com/index.php is open every day and there is a small charge to visit and to take photographs. It is a fascinating place to visit and the eggs are wonderful. The museum is near Guru Humorului, and the “Painted Monasteries.”:http://wasleys.org.uk/eleanor/otherholidays/romania/day_six/six_one/index.html
There are more pictures “here.”:http://wasleys.org.uk/eleanor/otherholidays/romania/day_five/five_three/index.html
We visited during a ten day trip to Romania. My full report and all the pictures can be found “here.”:http://wasleys.org.uk/eleanor/otherholidays/romania/index.html